Former tennis players’ association launches

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Four former tennis players and several current players have co-founded the Association of Former Players A new players’ association dedicated to defending and promoting the interests of retired…

Former tennis players' association launches

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Four former tennis players and several current players have co-founded the Association of Former Players

A new players’ association dedicated to defending and promoting the interests of retired players has been launched.

The association is co-founded by four former champions, including Novak Djokovic, and represents 10 of the world’s top 50 players.

However, the International Tennis Federation is unhappy with the direction of the organisation.

The union says it wants to promote a sustainable retirement programme.

Last month, the International Tennis Federation removed the words “Retired Players Association” from the opening pages of its mission statement to “focus solely on pensions and benefits”.

The current players’ union has a similar but shorter mission statement, without any reference to the possibility of reviving an established association.

Current players are opposed to this move, with former world number four Nikolay Davydenko saying: “Tennis is not a club. You pay for certain things, you earn points and go into different tournaments.”

Mardy Fish, who has joined Novak Djokovic, Djokovic’s current opponent, and Pete Sampras among those co-founding the Association of Former Players, added: “We’re discussing world ranking and how the ranking points are distributed.”

The past four Grand Slam champions who have joined together to set up the organisation are Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, and it hopes to have at least 20 representatives from both professional men’s and women’s tours.

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